The Ivy Center for Education hosted a “Droning in the Bluff” event Oct. 2 at Faith Presbyterian Church.

Sederick Charles Rice, Ph.D., an associate professor of biology at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, provided four types of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or drones.

The drones were used to teach Ivy Center students, who plan to become engineers, about flight physics, the use of ground-based radio frequency controllers, and quadcopter flight mechanics, according to a news release.

Students learned about propulsion and control. They practiced hovering, climbing, descending and performed unique movements and flights using hand-controlled stunt drones.

Participants also learned about the application of drones for recreation, commercial use, and in capturing aerial photography of agricultural crops and construction sites.

Ivy Center future engineer Jonathan Burgess is a senior at Pine Bluff High School.

“I really enjoyed flying the drones,” Burgess said. “Dr. Rice provided me and my fellow peers the opportunity to get this great experience and it was truly exciting! My future plan is to become a computer engineer.”

Kennedi McClinton is a senior at White Hall High School.

“It was fun flying the drones and a great experience,” McClinton said. “My future plan includes becoming an engineer in the Army National Guard. Guard engineers work around the world to assist countries in need.”

The Ivy Center for Education, a 501c3 (non-profit organization), provides educational opportunities for 7-12th graders in Jefferson County and surrounding communities.

The center hosts mentoring and academic excellence programs which include future engineers, future medical professionals, ACT Prep College Readiness Workshops, college tours, Arkansas Field Studies Trips, character building, tutoring, modeling and other programs.

For details, email Mattie Collins at, or Patricia Berry at